Black Robot Bassist Inspired by ‘Guitar Hero’
Black Robot bassist Jonathan ‘J.B.’ Brightman saw what he thought was the downfall of traditional rock ‘n’ roll. But his faith was restored when he witnessed kids playing ‘Guitar Hero’ in a California big box store. “I went to Best Buy a couple times and I saw these kids rocking out to Mountain and all these old classic songs,” Brightman, the former bassist for Buckcherry, told Noisecreep. “They know the music through that, whereas I felt like they might be ready for this again. I got inspired to get involved with music again at this level.”
Brightman and the rest of his band, which includes Detroit-bred singer Huck Johns, are releasing their self-titled debut in early 2010. Like the recent digital-only EP ‘The Battle for Tokyo,’ ‘Black Robot’ identifies with traditional rock ‘n’ roll.
“I actually thought the genre of rock ‘n’ roll in general with a cool band was gone,” Brightman said. “It’s the stuff that I enjoy or this band enjoys doing. No one has these sounds like Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, the Who. It doesn’t seem like the market is there for a band like that. Then I started seeing these kids really enjoying it, it came to me that the music industry is the one that’s kind of responsible for that.
“I don’t think people have really stopped enjoying the sound of AC/DC or things like that. I just think the record companies started focusing in on things they could make a lot of money on — rap music, hip-hop or other rock ‘n’ roll genres. I feel it’s not for lack of people wanting to listen to this stuff. It’s just not out there. So we went ahead on this venture to make the record and do it, and kind of feel like maybe if people had a chance, it might feel good to them again.”
The brainchild of Brightman and Johns, Black Robot called in the best musicians for its debut album. The players include Yogi on lead guitars, Devon Glenn on drums — both Buckcherry alumni — with Darren Dodd and Chris Powell also lending their solid stick work on percussion. The legendary session keyboard wizard, Fred Mandell (Elton John, Pink Floyd, Queen) adds his keys to the mix. Brightman was also able to bring to the band what he learned during his tenure in Buckcherry — which is a strong work ethic.
“The thing about Buckcherry is that band is a really hard-working band,” Brightman said. “They just play straight-up rock ‘n’ roll and they got a great thing going on. They’re continuing it. If you got a quality product and you work really hard at it and stay devoted to it, you’ve got a fighting chance. If you take a soft approach to it, you’re never going to have a chance.”